Tag Archive | birding

To go or not to go, that’s my question. Not for you … you GO!

 

One of the pioneer houses at the Crowley Museum

One of the pioneer houses at the Crowley Museum

To go or not to go that is the question. Whether to be admired and petted by my many admirers or to risk the hooves and horns of free ranging farm animals … Wow what a question. The Geezer says I can go with him on one of his trips … I always beg him to … now I’m not so sure I’ll go.

The Geezer or DL Havlin as he’s better know, is one of the speakers at the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum this Saturday. He’ll be doing two presentations. One will be “The Loyal 14th Colony: Florida and the Revolutionary War” which he’ll present at 1:30. The other will be on the years from 1865 through 1914. He calls that one, “Florida, the forgotten years,” and his talk will begin at 11:30 for that one.

There will be a large number of fun and educational events held at the Crowley. Don’t miss it! Here is a site that provides more information including directions on how to get there.  http://crowleyfl.org/calendar/heritage-festival/    DL (and maybe me) will be there. There will be all kinds of demonstrations from blacksmithing to pioneer cooking. Live music, too.

Here are more pics taken at Crowley.

An 1800's Cracker Limo

An 1800’s Cracker Limo

"I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat, and grits" A pioneer kitchen---

“I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat, and grits” A pioneer kitchen—

What put the CRACK in Cracker -- An exhibit at the Crowley Museum.

What put the CRACK in Cracker — An exhibit at the Crowley Museum.

The Geezer’s latest book has been released. It’s a suspense mystery novel titled The Bait Man. It will be available through your local book stores and on-line in ten days to two weeks.

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They’re too sexy for their feathers … too cute for this picture shoot …

 

Owl in home

Wise young owls … burrowing owls that is. The youngsters don’t quite trust my doggy smile.

 

“I’ll only take a few moments!” – That’s what I yelled at the Geezer so I can send out this quick post. Getting my paws on the keyboard, right now, is like getting any two people to agree on politics. I had to share the pictures of these cuties we saw while taking a ride in the neighboring city of Cape Coral. Burrowing Owls are a protected species and the “Cape” does a good job of doing just that. (Much to the consternation of some home owners and builders) Papa owl is pictured below as he stands guard on his “young-uns.”

The Geezer has been super busy the last few weeks traveling to other states for conferences, historical research for a series of novels, etc. and conducting seminars and speaking locally. He hasn’t done much writing in three weeks and that makes him as grumpy as bear leaving hibernation. This was such a good set of pics I had to get them posted.

 

Owl w-protected sign

Papa owl watching over his family

 

Owl family

The whole fam-damilly – Mom, Dad, and the four kids.

 

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They’re back … and love is in the air!

 

Love is in the air!

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two "toddlers" this year.

Momma manatees give birth and are raising calves in our canal. We have two “toddlers” this year.

Each spring our back yard becomes a nursery/rookery for the manatees and night herons.

Here are a few pics of the returning wildlife. We’re up to eight night heron nests and two extended families of manatees. (Seven in one “herd” and five in the other.) When all twelve are cavorting around our narrow canal we need to install a traffic light. Some weigh well over 500 pounds. In addition two green heron nests are sandwiched in between the night herons.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves.

Nosing up to the mangroves to nibble on the leaves. Notice #2 up under the bushes?

Here’s a brief film clip of manatees being manatees.

The night herons normally do a good job of hiding their nests so it takes some real concentration to find them camouflaged in the mangroves. We have an exception this year. The pair are real exhibitionists. The Geezer calls them Madonna and Justin. Here are some pics.

Green heron!

Green heron invasion! Sometimes you wish for a camera but…….. A black snake tried to steal this herons eggs, but the whole bird community responded and made Swiss Cheese of Mr. Slithers.

 

Mom and babies - how quickly they grow!

Mom and babies – how quickly they grow!

 

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

Madonna and Justin showing off their plumage!

 

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

Exhibitionists !!!!!!!!

 

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

This green heron looks like he has a hangover in the early morning light.

 

Ain’t love grand?

 

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Waiting on the Stork

The Geezer says he knows how this night heron feels waiting on the stork

The Geezer says he knows how this night heron feels waiting on the stork, I do too–

Waiting! Waiting! Waiting! I wonder how much time I spend doing that. I wait for my humans to feed me. I wait for them to walk me. I wait on the armadillo to come out of his hole so we can play. I wait on the Geezer to get my pull-toy so we can play tug-of-war. I wait for Mrs. G to stop petting Oreo so I can monopolize her attention. It seems like most of my life is spent in the sheer boredom of waiting.

Normally, I’d say humans have little understanding of the suffering we canines endure, but in this instance … this one instance … the Geezer understands. Right now he’s waiting. Waiting on his new book Bully Route Home to get into the stores. Waiting for the change his publisher is making in distributors to settle out. Waiting for response from agents on two of his manuscripts. Waiting for final publishing editorial approval on another. Waiting! Waiting! Waiting!

I pass my waiting time on a carefully planned and regimented schedule. Seventy-two percent is spent sleeping on one of my two large pillows. Another 12% is spent wimpering at my humans feet. It makes them feel guilty … the result … I get treats. Ten percent goes to my exercise program. That consists of rolling on my back, stretching when I get out of bed, and scratching imaginary fleas (don’t have any, but one must keep their techniques sharp). The rest is used to do what a girl’s got to do.

The Geezer simply spends his waiting time writing … and writing … and writing. Which, you already guessed, creates more waiting time. Humans, they learn slow or not at all.

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Update — Heron babies in feeding film clip — How quick they grow!

Looking for its own meals now.

Looking for its own meals now.

How quickly they grow! Above is one of the babies that appeared in a video clip in one of my posts a few weeks ago. The young night heron is looking for small wharf crabs that scurry around our seawall. The mangroves across the canal are alive with heron families in all stages of the rearing process. Below, bro or sis stands on our dock and looks at the squalling aviary buried in greenery.

 

If two's company and three's a crowd - what's twenty or more?

If two’s company and three’s a crowd – what’s twenty or more?

Many hatchlings are still in the nest. The one pictured below looks bored and ready to start life. The dangers that lurk are waiting for him, but at this point he isn’t aware of things like raccoons, coyotes, falcons, etc.

Not ready for prime time player - Still nest bound.

Not ready for prime time player – Still nest bound.

If you didn’t see the film clip of the mother feeding these babies, look back in my posts several weeks. It’s worth taking the time to view. It was published 5/29, that’s four posts ago.

 

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Mom heron feeding babies … if you like nature, don’t miss this post.

The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is one with which my human disagrees. He says a good writer should never use that many words to describe anything. Sigh. He’s wrong. Remember he’s human. Those who visit me regularly know we have a growing rookery behind our house. If you like nature, birds, etc., don’t miss viewing the clip below. The film clip and pictures show something my humans (and me) were privileged to observe. Its of a mom night heron feeding her young. The photos are of neighboring young herons that hatched several weeks earlier. I’ll let the clip and the photos do most of the woofing, sorry humans that’s talking in your lingo. Tell your friends to have a look.

Two juvenile Night Herons just starting to show adult plumage.

Two juvenile Night Herons just starting to show adult plumage.

Young adult pruning

Young adult pruning

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies. There are two. Can you find them?

The clip is of the parent feeding the babies regurgitated crabs. The fact that Mrs. G was able to get a clip of such a rare sight as the feeding was great, but unfortunately there was an even better shot that was missed. Humans don’t walk around with cameras ALL the time. That would have been the film of the night heron parents collaborating with one of the green herons who also nest in the mangroves across the canal. The three birds caught and drove off a four foot long black snake that tried to rob their nest. It was a once in a lifetime sight!

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It’s that time of year — in Southwest Florida

 

The Herons have returned!

The Herons have returned!

It’s that time of year in Southwest Florida. Our nesting season has started. All five nests across the canal have been reoccupied by our expanding family of night herons. We’re interested to see if we have an additional nest of offspring who return to the mangroves where they were born. We’ve increased our rookery by one nest the past three seasons. Two pair of green herons are sprucing up their lodges interspersed in the same mangroves. We have two pair of Osprey that are building nests that are also visible from our porch. The strong winds over last few days severely damaged one nest, but mom and dad Osprey have reconstruction on full-tilt. I’ll snap some pics for you as things develop.

For all you shivering in cold climates, there is hope. Our high today is supposed to be 78F and it’s on its way toward you. Well, it may take a while…….

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